The Best Innovative Wallets 2021
Innovation is a big part of developing a wallet. People quickly become sick of the traditional bi-fold with its big bulky appearance and this was shown with the huge advent of weird, wonderful, and innovative wallets that have come onto the market in the past 10 years. Even to this day wallet brands continue to innovate and as we power through into 2020 and beyond this type of creative design and innovation is only going to continue.
What is an innovative wallet?
Let’s start with a quick definition. Innovation is the creation or development of a new idea that changes the way we think about something. A great example of this is Apple who in 2007 released the first iPhone, which has become the standard – to this day – for all smartphones and the way we communicate with each other.
Types of innovation in wallets
When it comes to innovation in wallet design, there are many different things we can look at. What you want from your wallet – whether its to slim down or add new functionality – is important when choosing your next wallet and what best suits your individual needs. Let’s breakdown the different types of innovation you can find in wallets.
Materials & Quality
Gone are the days where the only wallets are made from leather. New materials are constantly being developed to create a wallet that tackles many of the issues traditional materials have. Examples of this include Tyvek (a paper-like material), Meridian Shell (almost like sandpaper) or 10XD (strong nylon).
Functionality & Usability
The whole purpose of a wallet is to store your everyday carry including card, cards, and other items. As more wallets come onto the market we’re seeing an increase in features not typically attributed to wallets and that goes above and beyond in trying to make our lives easier well on the move. This has given creation to a whole range of ‘smart wallets’ which company technology into the wallet and even integrate them with your smartphones.
Other innovative features include the way a wallet deals with cash and card storage and the way they provide quick and easy access to these items. The final way wallets can innovate with its functionality is its size. Usually, if a wallet is smaller in size they have to compensate and remove features to enable the wallet to be a smaller size. But many wallet manufacturers have innovated in the way they combat this issue and have enabled you to have great functionality and a smaller sized wallet.
Ekster Smart Wallets
The Ekster Smart Wallet range is a fantastic take on combining a compact design, smart features, and innovative card storage. The Ekster brand first comes onto the market through a successful Kickstarter campaign where they successfully raised above their funding goals.
The thing I love about the Ekster is its premium look and I instantly fell in love with the brand, the look, and feel of the wallets, and the awesome sleek packaging the wallet came in. In terms of its features the Eskter. The way the wallet stores credit or debit cards is quite ingenious. The wallet uses a mechanism enclosed within a metal cardholder. With a simple flick of a switch, cards cascade out (like a fan) in a fashion that provides easy access to each individual card. The innovative mechanism is unique and something I’ve not really seen in a wallet before.
The wallet is also very small for its size. The wallet is also a great size being very thin and rectangular in shape so it fits nicely in the pocket with little bulk and hardly noticeable. Eskter is also known for its smart cards. Although sold separately to the wallets themselves the credit shaped tracker card is great for those who are prone to losing their wallet. Simply connect the card to the app (available on android and ios) and it enables you to locate your wallet regardless of where it is.
The Ekster wallet comes in at a reasonable price tag of between $69.00 – $99.00 (depending on the type). If you want to add on the Tracker card will set you back another $49.00. All in all the wallet is a clever take on great functionality, attractive design, and an optional smart feature if you so wish. For more information on the Ekster Parliament wallet check out our full review or visit their official website by clicking the link below.
Cashew Smart Wallet
Another wallet in the smart catalog the Cashew wallet is another example of crowdfunding success. The wallet shines with its ability to unlock your wallet with a fingerprint sensor much like found on modern-day smartphones. This is a completely unique feature that I’ve never come across before on any wallet. The wallet resembles that of a carry case and almost has the look of a flip phone (remember those) that were all the rage in the 2000s.
Once unlocked inside you have a capacity of up to 7 cards with an alternative area for storing banknotes (up to 20). These notes still have to be folded in half to fit correctly so keep that in mind. Having used the Cashew myself I found the wallet to be great to use and very versatile in nature. The only downside I found is it is quite large in size and I fear the technology used in the Cashew might become outdated over time.
The Cashew isn’t yet available as it’s still going through the development phase after their crowdfunding campaign. Nevertheless, I have no doubt this will be a successful wallet so keep an eye out for when this amazing little smart wallet comes onto the market. For more information on the Cashew wallet click the link below.
The Cardamon is an innovative wallet made from a material I’ve never come across before. The Cardamon is another wallet that rose to fame after it was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in 2016. The wallet is made from a material known as Meridian Shell. Simply put, this engineered fabric is made from a combination of Polyamide and Polyester to create a highly dense weave.
The material in terms of its look & feel will probably split opinions. I personally feel the material is attractive to look at with its weaved patternation complementing its range of colors (Red, black, brown, yellow & blue). Then again, the feel of the material is quite rough to the touch almost like fine-grade sandpaper. This personally didn’t faze me but for some people, it might not be the most suitable material.
The build quality and construct method are also noteworthy. The Cardamon uses high-frequency welding and a heat press to develop a thin and sleek design. This has been cleverly done to provide minimal stitching which helps keep the wallet very durable even in extreme use and over longer periods of time.
Coming in at a price of $69.00 the Cardamon wallet is upper mid-priced. I think this is a fair price. The cardamon shines with its build quality and distinctive look. The wallet doesn’t add anything new or unique in terms of its storage capacity but does shine in its other areas. For more information on Cardamon wallet visit their website by clicking the link below
KKMC Micro Belgravia Wallet
The KKMC Micro wallet is that is simply put a beautifully engineered piece of metal. The purpose of the wallet is to combine ultra-minimalist design with an innovative take on how it stores its item specifically coins. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that most men’s wallets don’t take consideration of coin storage even more so when you consider the minimalist size of the KKMC Micro wallet.
The Micro wallet comes in at a small size of 86.5mm x 54mm. Being one of the smallest wallets I’ve ever reviewed the wallet has a max capacity of 5 -12 cards. The wallet also comes with an elasticated band that firmly fits around the wallet and used to secure banknotes and other paper items. The friction of the elastic on the metal makes the band really secure and the build quality is second to none.
The inside of the wallet is made from a felt-like material and this is where you can store other items such as coins and keys. This is where the innovation of the wallet really shines as this way of storing coins in really effective and works well especially considering the ultra-minimalist size of the wallet.
Another thing to note is the wallet is just really attractive. I’ve reviewed many metal wallets in my time – for a list of these click here – but the KKMC Micro wallet really takes the cake as one of the most suitable and attractive designs in my opinion. For more information on the KKMC Micro Belgravia click the link below.
Pioneer is another wallet brand that has done a fantastic job of creating an attractive range of functional wallets. Much like the Cardamon wallet the Pioneer range of wallets is made from an innovative and unusual material that has amazing qualities better than traditional materials such as leather.
The Pioneer wallets are actually available in 2 differing wallet materials. The first, simply known as 10XD. Named after the fact that the material is 10 times stronger than steel, this ultra-high molecular polyethylene (whatever that means) has a smooth finish and repels water and dirt which makes it great for using in the outdoor or in harsher conditions.
At a price tag of between $59.00 – $79.00 the Pioneer range of wallets add the best of attractive design to a material built to last the ages. For more information on the Pioneer range of wallets read our full reviews (here & here) or click the link below to visit their website.
The Damda Wallet
You only have to look at the Damda Wallet to see how unique its look and style really is. The Damda Wallet is a unique hard case wallet that provides great storage of your cash and cards in a case style. The wallet has a maximum capacity of around 5 – 6 cards with room for cash in the same area. The back of the case is also see-though providing a handy ID Slot to easily showcase any Identification cards like a driver’s license or employee ID. The wallet itself is made out of plastic which provides fantastic durability against drops while also providing RFID Security to prevent theft through contactless fraud.
The Design of the Damda Wallet is also worth mentioning as it is probably one of the sleekest looking wallets that adds to its innovation. This design is based on the 1950s retro-futurism trend and very much takes that classic design which I personally love. It also comes in a lovely range of colors including black, silver, and red, which again, improve and add to the look and feel of the wallet.
Finally, the Damda Wallet comes in at a very affordable price tag of $39.99. I personally think this is an absolute bargain for what you get and having used the wallet for an extended amount of time myself the wallet works well and is easy to use. For more information on the Damda Wallet why not check out our full review here, or visit their website using the link below.
Garzini is innovative due to its unique ‘magic wallet’ system that provides a seamless way to access your cash and cards. This innovative system is dubbed as Versaflex by Garzini themselves and allows your wallet to puts money away for you. It’s hard to explain in writing (cos its magic) so watch this video to see how it works in practice – it really is worth watching.
In terms of the wallet themselves, Garzini provides a great range for anyone looking for a whole host of great innovative features. This includes a simple minimalist Essenziale Wallet with an ID Card slot or a more advanced version with an included coin slot. The wallets themselves all have a fantastic and build quality being made from premium leather with a unique range of vintage color options including Olive Green, Java Red, and Caramel Brown.
Finally, each of the wallets from Garzini’s range comes in a very respectable and affordable price tags. Starting at $45.00 and ranging up to $70.00 (for the most premium versions). Overall, the Garzini range of wallets is a joy to use in-person and showcase the real innovation that a simple design can add to how easy it is to use the wallet. For more information on the Garini Wallet check out their official website below.
The Pitaka Wallet
The Pitaka Wallet, also known as the MagEZ Wallet is one of the only wallets of its kind integrating magnetic properties into its design. Not only this but the Pitaka uses a plate system that allows you to customized with additional layers to fit your needs including the choice between extra layers (for more cash and card storage), a money clip (for better banknote storage), or a cavity layer that allows for storage of small items like coins or keys. These layers are held together by the wallets integrated magnetic system and allows for easy customization and access to your cash and cards.
With all this being said the Pitaka only comes in at a tiny size of 101.5mm x 67.5mm x 12mm (obviously gets thicker the more layers you add). Let’s also not forget the entire wallet is made out of carbon fiber a fantastic material that’s known for its lightweight yet durable nature. It also has a very attractive and unique texture which is why the material is used in supercar interiors. The Pitaka wallet comes in at a price tag of $80.00 with an additional fee for additional plates/layers. For more information on the Pitaka Wallet check out our full review or visit their website below.
Innovation is a big part of what makes a new wallet even worth considering. I have no doubt that in the future that some amazing wallets will be developed and I’ll be continually updating this article in the future as new innovations arise in the wallet world. Below you can find a few other innovative wallets that we also recommend.
Click them to find about more about each wallet. Also if you have any suggestions for other wallets on this list then please email us directly at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.